1. Yeah, no need to get too excited. Perhaps the boring Milan shows lowered people’s expectations of SS09. Still, Balmain is very compelling and worth critical reflection.
    At Balmain, there’s much more control and intent than at the other houses typically associated with the 80s groupie look. The color palette was really limited and didn’t include the girly crowd pleasers (e.g., the red family, animal prints, pretty pastels). The shoulder showed much more of an edgy, constructed vision — after all, true bespoke suit designs often originate in the shoulder.
    I was afraid it was going to be compared to Alexander Wang, which is sort of the casual, sloppy counterpart to Balmain. Project Runway vs. Lagerfeld Confidential, maybe.

  2. well, good or bad, balmain definitely gets big buzz, eh?
    i too have been mulling over this collection, and i think it is a cool interpretation of what we’re seeing on the streets, at parties, etc…
    yes its a bit gaudy, but how many “cool girls” today would choose cavalli over balmain? very few. balmain is to night as alexander wang is to day: trashy, trendy, and cooler than anyone else…
    i had a few more comparisons to make.. check them out here:

  3. i honestly dont think its very deep. it just happens to be one of those “right time, at the right place moments.” Versace has gone sweet, and Cavalli went prairie.

  4. i found the tailoring to be quite the genius of the collection. those shoulders…. amazing.
    and that is what sets this apart from a cavalli collection.
    the tailoring is spectacular.
    and yes, i have to agree more control was exercised in this collection. compared to a cavalli and the old versace.
    taste really is the answer to the question. while decarnin did do a somewhat ‘milanese’ collection his mastery of construction and taste are still intact, not that milanese houses lack those (see jil sander and prada), it’s just that these milanese houses in question tend to go wild with the beads and all that. though i wouldn’t really call it a genius collection. it’s just highly marketable. i still think gareth pugh’s was best so far.
    as for the question of house identity. i think balmain’s collection would be a perfect versace collection had the house stuck with their identity of questionable tast but managed to evolve from that gutter. evolution is the only way a house can survive. if not, givenchy would still churn out audrey hepburn dresses. we wouldn’t see a futuristic balenciaga unfold before our very eyes every season. dior would never have hired john galliano. versace et al are not just panned because they’re trashy; but because they failed to move forward as a house even if they stuck to their trashiness. thank goodness, versace is taking notes.

  5. trashy, tacky, slutty, vulgar – that’s what I’d call it – embellished, low bootcut – I beg you pardon! that’s the definition of trashy… good tailoring can’t help against too much blingbling

  6. If the label’s called as chic as ‘Balmain’ you can’t do much wrong apparently

  7. Slut4Style

    beyond the endorsement of roitfeld et al, the difference between chic and shit is multifold and subtle. tailoring. color. relevance. the drop of a hem. an accessory well-selected. and above all, the right attitude. if one perceives balmain as cavalli, perhaps he or she is not the right one to wear and judge the clothes.

  8. Mr. Bradshaw

    clients matter i think, cavalli and versace can be interpreted as Eurotrashwear (people who wear it are kind of trashy) and to be frank they’re way too mainstream, but some pieces are as good as balmain. don’t you think now versace and cavalli have evolved into sophistication considering the pieces they’ve shown the last couple of seasons? the key word in here is ‘cult’, ask anyone in say melbourne or amsterdam, which one do they know, balmain or versace. Versace and Cavalli are not really into my taste because of who wear them, i would wear balmain just because not everyone knows or can even pronounce that name. but then again it all goes back to ‘which would you prefer?’ and there is no wrong choice.

  9. Katerina

    Here’s the bottom line:
    Balmain is “rock and roll”…Few other designers have been consistently rock and roll, and I’m not talking hippie rock or punk. We’re talking metal rock and roll. People who love Balmain may also love Rick Owens. Do you see the correlation? It comes down to simple style. Be it crazy..classic..cute etc. This is rock and roll. If you don’t see the sex appeal in rock and roll..then i feel very sorry for you.
    In response to “it’s too short/shows crotch”. It’s the runway..everything is pinned up..heels heightened etc for drama. Any serious fashionista should know this! if you wore the dress out..your crotch would not show. End argument.
    ….And i’m done..biatch.

  10. First, I just want to say that I’m really flattered that you though I had a valid point, Bryanboy.
    I just want to clarify to anyone who might read what I wrote that I’m not knocking Balmain in any way. I get what it’s all about and even though I do view it as trashy and tacky, I’m not saying that as a put down necessarily. I love mile long legs and lots of sparkle like any good gay boy should.
    As for the arguments about tailoring, fit, detail work and all that other stuff, I’m no fashion simpleton. I know exactly what goes into making those Balmain dresses and jackets (which, btw, are the only tailoring that this collection offered. Acid wash skinny jeans with lycra in them do not count). The amazing fit of those dresses is achieved with stretch mesh corset/bustier hybrids. They aren’t fitted to perfection, they’re built to make your body fit them, which is no amazing feat. Most Versace/Cavalli/Dolce dresses have the same kind of underpinnings built into them to make them fit perfectly. With the exception of the jackets (most of them are killer) there’s no more extraordinary craft involved in Balmain’s clothes than there are in anyone else’s…and certainly not enough to justify their insane prices.
    The arguments of taste, though thoughtful, are making Decarnin out to sound like Yves Saint Laurent or something. To me, the whole appeal of these clothes lies in the fact that they are tasteless and fun. It’s a simple formula. Again, I’m not knocking it.
    Anyway, to each his or her own.

  11. Spike:
    First off, Balmain has a signature look if you look at his past collections you can see his taste is very different than Versace and Cavalli. To an outsider, someone not that into fashion, they might say, “Wow, that looks like Versace or Cavalli because it has crystals, or shine/glamor and high hemlines.” But, people that are actually in the fashion industry know there’s a distinct difference. Have you ever seen anyone mix extreme beading and beautiful tailoring with ripped custom wash lycra pants! Come on! Balmain is now being noticed by people outside the fashion world and not because Carine Roitfeld and her team love it, (most people outside the fashion world don’t even know who she is) but because it IS DIFFERENT. If it was just like the other designers no one would be talking about it!
    I have seen and felt Balmain’s beautiful jackets and dresses in person and they are nothing like I have ever seen….period.
    And as for some of you that are bashing the “older” designers. Seriously, seriously?!? I would like to see any of you create what those designers have done, year after year they come up with new designs. Yes, some years are better than others. But, seriously people if you were around as long as they have been, you are bound to get some not so great designs and harsh criticism.
    Katerina: Versace will never be Eurotrashwear, it’s the people that are wearing it incorrectly who are trash. Like European men wearing Versace shirts that are decades old and very out of date. Hello! They are categorized by year and season for a reason.

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